Jan. 31, 2020 – The journalists of the Springfield News-Leader voted 13-0 to form the Springfield News Guild, a unit of United Media Guild local.
“Today, the staff of the News-Leader took a major step forward in our effort to preserve and strengthen local journalism in Springfield,” education reporter Claudette Riley said. “Now the hard part begins as we bargain in good faith to forge a fair contract.”
Since announcing their intent to form a union communication with local and corporate supervisors have been open and respectful, the union said in a statement. “We hope that respect will continue to define our relationship in the coming months.
“We are aware that our industry faces many challenges, but we also remain certain that investing in people and journalism is the best way forward and the only way to survive.”
Columnist Steve Pokin said the union vote was a much-needed step. “Now we look forward to finally having a voice at the table on how we are treated by our corporate owners and advocating for the resources the News-Leader needs to fulfill its mission of covering local news.”
“The historic decision by every full-time reporter, photographer and producer is yet another step toward taking some local control of local news,” the unit wrote in a statement.
Workers at four other publications have announced union organizing campaigns with The NewsGuild-CWA already in 2020, following a record-break year in 2019 during which more than 1,400 workers at 23 shops joined the union.